Its very difficult to create a blog as a mid table tekkie as I like to call myself because I have to understand that many of you have different levels of technical awareness. And as the title to this blog suggests it may be an enlightening subject, but standoffish to a technophobe in the same breath.
I will try to keep this blog detail in layman’s terms as much as I can – but some of you may be suffering with slow WiFi on certain devices without knowing why, and without knowing what to do.
Tonight I set myself a task to create a scenario where I could literally show you how Bluetooth can have a detrimental affect your broadband speed, because its happening to me too and has been for a while without knowing why. I just put it down to WiFi congestion in the 2.4GHz frequency range (oops, gone tekkie – sorry) and just said to myself, switch to 5GHz and it’ll be fine! As long as you can switch to 5GHz because some devices only connect at 2.4GHz.
Most new routers do all of this switching for you automatically, but if your device that is pulling data can only connect at 2.4GHz this is where the problem generally exists.
In short the 2.4 GHz range provides WiFi coverage at a longer range but transmits data at marginally slower speeds. The 5GHz range provides less coverage over distance but transmits data at faster speeds.
I have been mulling all of this over for a few days now as I wanted to tell you all collectively in a succinct manor without omitting anyone in the process. These blog’s can get dragged out sometimes right? Its slowly happening now, so I will cut to the chase.
I have a broadband service capable of 35 to 45 mbps, and on average over WiFi on many devices I get this speed. However the laptop I am on right now can only connect via WiFi on the 2.4GHz spectrum.
The 2.4GHz spectrum is also shared with Bluetooth transmission, and they can interfere with one another. So if you are in a situation where on some devices you get fast WiFi and on others you get slow WiFi take a look at the settings on your device to see if it is only a 2.4GHz device. Equally, if you have a dual band router and a dual band enabled device and you are far away from one another, in another room in fact you may have been switched to 2.4GHz without you knowing, so keep reading to find out how to fix the issue.
The test I set myself after establishing that Bluetooth was causing slow WiFi was to run a speed test with Bluetooth enabled and paired to another device, and the other test with all Bluetooth disabled, the difference is amazing! Bluetooth devices range from WiFi sonos devices, Bluetooth connections from smart watches to phones.
Here is my first reading, using a speed test website, connecting via WiFi at 2.4GHz with Bluetooth enabled. I was connected to Bluetooth from my smartwatch to my Galaxy S10,
And here’s the very same laptop reading, connecting to the very same speed test website connecting to the same server and the evidence is conclusive!
If you aren’t getting the speed you expect via WiFi, switch off Bluetooth and run the speed Test again.
To conclude, if you are experiencing slow WiFi on certain devices, disconnect all Bluetooth devices in the first instance to see if this resolves the slow WiFi issue. Don’t forget that many devices utilise Bluetooth so start with devices that are near to the WiFi device you are using that has slow WiFi, then turn off Bluetooth on that device and surrounding Bluetooth connections.
Then re test to determine your WiFi speed.
If you feel you need any assistance on any of the above please feel free to give me a call, I will be more than happy to offer some additional advice and if needed agree a convenient time to visit you for further consultation.
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